News and Events

Hanukkah Miracle: Baby’s Life Saved in Emergency Birth at Rambam

Publication Date: 12/20/2020 10:30 AM

A couple whose unborn baby’s life was suddenly in jeopardy experienced a Hanukkah miracle when physicians at Rambam saved her life.

Yaakov, Alona and Miel Mizrahi. Photography: Rambam HCCYaakov, Alona and Miel Mizrahi. Photography: Rambam HCC

Yaakov and Alona Mizrahi, 26, residents of Northern Israel, waited months for the birth of their eldest daughter. However, despite their plans and preparations, nothing prepared them for a particularly dramatic birth, during which they almost lost the most precious person of all.

One evening several weeks ago, Alona felt pain in her abdomen. She was quite close to her due date and hesitant to go to the hospital; she decided to wait and see if the pain developed into contractions. "The pain got worse," recalled Yaakov, "but Alona wanted to wait as long as possible. I saw she was suffering and convinced her there was no point in waiting any longer."

When the couple arrived at Rambam Health Care Campus, Alona underwent a series of tests. Although they found she was not in active labor or about to give birth, one result really worried the doctors.

"Several doctors came in to look at my test results," Alona said. "Each time I asked if everything was okay they calmed me down, but it seemed that something was troubling them."

The results of an ultrasound performed when she arrived at the women's emergency department showed a significant slowdown in the fetal pulse, and it was decided to rush her to the operating room for an emergency caesarean section.

"Within minutes, the mother was in the operating room, where a multidisciplinary team of experts was waiting to perform the surgery," explained Dr. Adi Halberthal-Cohen, a physician in Rambam's Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, who took part in the emergency surgery. Within ten minutes of entering the operating room, the baby girl took her first breaths. The pediatrician touched her and she responded well. “Her quick response indicates that the problem was immediate and acute, and that it was a matter of a few minutes that separated life and death."

Performing emergency surgery so quickly was possible only because of the tight cooperation, timing, and synchronization of several medical teams in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, anesthesiology, pediatric and neonatal intensive care, nursing, the operating room, and more. Outside the operating room, Yaakov stood, worried and agitated, devoting all his thoughts to the drama unfolding on the other side of the wall. "Such a development was not expected at all," he noted. “all of a sudden, everything happened so fast. I stood outside and prayed that everything would be okay. When the doctor came out and told me that Alona and the baby were both fine, I was so happy! It was just a miracle. A few more minutes and things could have ended differently. There are no words to thank Rambam's staff for everything they did for us."

After a day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Mizrahis’ new baby was transferred to the nursery. Mother and baby were released from the hospital soon after. "When we think about the chain of events and what happened from the moment we arrived at Rambam, we realize that there was a miracle and providence here," said the new parents. "We always knew we would come to Rambam for the birth because of its dedicated, professional staff. Everyone here is amazing, and there are no words to describe how excited and grateful we are,” they concluded, before wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah from them and from Miel, their new baby girl.